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Presidential Tribunal Postpones Obi’s Pre-Hearing Against Tinubu to May 19

LP National Chairman, Julius Abure and the party’s factional chairman, Lamidi Apapa were also in court on Wednesday.

FILE: Peter Obi (middle) at the Tribunal on Wednesday

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned to Friday, May 19 for continuation of pre-hearing in the petition by presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi against the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu.

LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, and factional chairman, Lamidi Apapa, were present in court on Wednesday as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal continued the pre-hearing session on Obi and the LP’s petition. The justices refused to acknowledge the representation of the party other than Obi, leading to a mild drama between the two camps of the Labour Party regarding which group should be in court.The Tribunal declined the appearance of Lamidi Apapa, acting National Chairman of the LP, and Dudu Manugu, National Women’s Leader of the party, when the petition was called.

Justice Haruna Tsamani ruled that if two individuals represent the party, their appearance will not be recorded. Lamidi Apapa attempted to take the seat reserved for Julius Abure but was resisted.

During the hearing, Labour Party’s counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, informed the court that the meeting to agree on the documents to be presented for the hearing did not yield significant results. He stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had only provided 30% of the required documents, contrary to the commitment made by INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, to provide all necessary documents.

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Justice Haruna Tsamani ruled that if two individuals represent the party, their appearance will not be recorded. Lamidi Apapa attempted to take the seat reserved for Julius Abure but was resisted.

During the hearing, Labour Party’s counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, informed the court that the meeting to agree on the documents to be presented for the hearing did not yield significant results. He stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had only provided 30% of the required documents, contrary to the commitment made by INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, to provide all necessary documents.

According to Livy Uzoukwu, the Labour Party has not received the documents related to Rivers State, despite requesting them. The Resident Electoral Commissioner stated that there are no available forms EC8A for the party, but has not provided a written confirmation as requested.

In response, INEC’s counsel, Abubakar Mahmoud, expressed surprise at the allegations, stating that the Labour Party did not attend the agreed meeting and walked out of the rescheduled one. He claimed that documents for Rivers and Sokoto states were indeed provided, but the Labour Party refused to pay the required fee of 1.5 million naira for Sokoto State, and they have not collected the Form EC8A for Rivers State.

Abubakar assured the court that INEC was making every effort to assist transparently and openly. He also emphasized their willingness to pay any amount for a document.

 

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